Skip to main content

tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 8, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

11:00 pm
last word. "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. of the russia investigation, and reveals he turned over his notes to spark a special counsel investigation. the president thus far quiet on twitter today, letting his lawyer do the talking. and new tonight, trump's son-in-law jared kushner said to meet with the senate intel staffers later this month before he ultimately hands over documents and answered senators' questions good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. day 140 of the trump administration. put another way, election day was seven months ago tonight. and our attention on this day was consumed by the widely
11:01 pm
anticipated and widely watched testimony from james comey, the former fbi director who was fired by the president. comey said the trump administration lied, plain and simple, about why he was fired, saying the president changed his story and that it really was all about russia. he confirmed to feel pressure to make the flynn investigation go away. comey also seems to have taken the president's comments about the fbi as a whole very personally. >> explanations, the shifting explanations confused me and increasingly concerned me. it confused me when i saw on television the president saying that he actually fired me because of the russia investigation. although the law required no reason at all to fire an fbi director, the administration then chose to defame me and more importantly, the fbi, by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had
11:02 pm
lost confidence in its leader. those were lies. plain and simple. >> do you believe the russia investigation played a role. ? >> in why i was fired? >> yes. >> yes, because the president said so. 'my understanding i was fired because of the russia investigation. i was fired in some way to change -- the endeavor was to change the way the russia investigation was being conducted. >> before we discuss today's comments from comey about philip mike flynn and whether the president the pressured him to drop the investigation into flynn, recall this line from comey's written that we got a look at yesterday. quote, i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. there was a lot made today over that word "hope" and what it really meant in this context. >> i hope -- this is the president eaking. i hope you can see youway to letting this go, to letting flynn go.
11:03 pm
he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. now those are his exact words; is that correct? >> correct. >> and you wrote them here and you put them in quotes? >> correct. >> thank you for that. he did not direct you to let it go? >> not in his words, no. >> he did not order you to let it go? >> again, those words are not an order. >> no. he said, i hope. >> the reason i keep saying his words is, i took it as a direction. i mean this is the president of the united states, with me alone, saying i hope this. i took it as this is what he wants me to do. >> as you perceived it while it was a request that he hoped you that did away with it you perceived it as an order given condition and setting and other like circumstances. >> yes. >> you and i are prosecutors. i'm not going to require you to answer. i just want to make a statement that in my experience of prosecuting cases when a robber
11:04 pm
held a gun to somebody's head and said i hope you will give me your wallet, the word hope was not the most operatedive word at that moment. >> what did the president really mean? recall this tweet, quote, james comey had better hope -- there is that word again -- that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. comey says it was after seeing that tweet from the president that he decided to get out his own version of their meeting in the form of his contemporary notes. and he did that in the hopes a special counsel would be appointed to oversee this investigation. >> look, i -- i've seen the tweet about tapes, lordy, i hope their tapes. >> do you believe there were any take place or recordings of your conversations with the president? >> it never occurred to me until the president's tweet. i'm not being facetious. i hope there are, and i'll consent to the release of them. >> both of you are in the same findings here. you both hope there's tapes and recordings.
11:05 pm
>> well, all i can do is hope. the president surely knows where he taped me. if he did, my feelings aren't hurt, release the entire -- release all the tapes i'm good with it the president tweeted on friday after i was fired i better hope there aren't tapes. i woke up monday night because it didn't dawn a dawn on me the night that there might be corroboration for our conversation, there might be a tape and my judgment was that i needed to get that out in the public square. i asked the friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. i didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons but i asked him to because i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. i asked a close friend of mine to it. >> our panel featured three top-notch correspondents, kristen welker, julie pace, and peter baker. and here with us in new york, jeremy bash chief of staff to the cia director.
11:06 pm
and defense secretary during the obama administration. former counsel to the house intelligence committee. welcome to all of you at the end of the a long indicate. kristen i'll start with you. as the media wind up today, the coverage on the left is slam-dunk obstruction case. the conversation on the right, comey is a leaker. "the new york times" is reporting tonight the president watched about 45 minutes of the hearing in the white house. what is the reaction you are hearing from the white house? >> well, that squares with my reporting as well, brian. look, i think the reaction from the white house is that they are picking out what they think benefits them from comey's testimony. they think that there are things that happened today that actually helped the president's argument. you are going to hear his surrogates repeat those things over and over again. one, that he corroborated the fact that the president said that comey told him he wasn't under investigation. the fact that comey said today that the president didn't urge
11:07 pm
him to drop the russia investigation broadly. and then that point that you raise brian, the fact that comey acknowledged leaking out his own memo, that's something that i think the president and his surrogates are really going to be focused often in the coming days and weeks. in terms of how the president processed this entire hearing today, i am told that he was in and out of a dining room in the white house. he was watching it with his legal counsel, watching with some of his top aides but they really tried to keep him preoccupied today, brian. they scheduled a big speech, his advisors did, he started off the day meeting in the oval office with some of his top officials. and he didn't tweet. this was a whole new level of message discipline. the question is, is he going to be able to keep this going? what happens on sunday when he wakes up to all of the sunday shows? will he startweeting then? he left his messaging to his outside counsel, marc kasowitz today, and it was really a
11:08 pm
remarkable discipline from a president who typically wakes up everybody morning and starts tweeting before 7:00 a.m. >> julie, as kristen just said tonight said he was unusually disciplined during the day. also says they did stack up his schedule. part of what you wrote today was about the president's record on truth telling and potential reversals versus comey, the former fbi chief. expand on that, if you would. >> i think what we saw from comey today was essentially a challenge that he laid out to lawmakers, to the public, and really perhaps ultimately to bob mueller who is now the special counsel here, which is which version of events do you believe? do you believe this version that i am telling you i detailed in memos, in essentially real time and that i am describing here in detail under oath? or do you believe the president who has a track record frankly of skirting the truth on issues big and small.
11:09 pm
from the very first day in office, first full day in office, president trump was sending his advisors out to skirt the truth about the size of the inauguration crowd. and you see this in poll numbers. when you ask americans about the president's -- whether they think he is honest and trustworthy, he's at a pretty low number there. comey again lays out this challenge. and i think that -- the answer to that question, who do you believe, may not result in anything that is related to the investigation or any legal implications for the president, but it's certainly going to hurt him politically. and to have that kind of damage at this point in a presidency, i think would be pretty difficult to overcome. >> peter baker allow me to quote from piece by peter baker in tonight's "new york times." headline for trump, the cloud just grew that much darker. thanks to mr. trump's own actions the cloud darkened considerably on thursday, now seems likely to hover over his presidency for months if not years. in his anger at mr. comey mr. trump may have actually made
11:10 pm
himself the target of an investigation. expand on that, please. and explain how it is to our audience the through line, how one tweet from this president resulted in a special counsel. >> well, that's right exactly. he was upset at comey not saying publicly he was not under investigation. he actually had asked of course comey to -- he said he hoped that comey would drop the michael flynn investigation. but in the process of then deciding to fire him he created a whole bigger issue than he had to begin with, right? whatever was happening with the russia investigation had not led to the kind of spectacle that we saw today with the president's own former fbi director was accusing him of not being a truth teller. you know, he has created a problem for himself through his own actions. we now have a very likely situation where bob mueller could be investigating president trump for obstruction ever
11:11 pm
justice we don't know whether that's true or not. that was one thin that we learned today from jim comey when he said he had given over his memos of the conversations he had with the president to bob mueller. that suggests an interest on the part of investigators. in any case he sort of raised this question about obstruction of justice or impeding an investigation to a point where it's going to be didn'ted and hang out there now for quite a long time. rather than making the problem go away, rather than lifting the cloud which is the phrase that jim comey said he used the cloud at this point is here for quite a while. >> jeremy bash, where was the damage the greatest, the potential obstruction case that comey contributed today, or again as some of the coverage would have it tonight, comey's admission that he leaked those contemporaneous notes to try to bring about a special counsel. >> two parts. james comey, a man of impeccable credentials and impeccable recollect attitude stating he believed the president of the united states ordered directed
11:12 pm
him, after clearing the room if the ovals to shut down an investigation into his associates. i thought that was damn damning. even more so that the president failed to protect the united states of america against an attack. kristin, tell us about the kushner story nbc news and you are reporting tonight. >> we understand according to two congressional sources that jared kushner will be meeting with members of the senate intel committee, first with staffers. he's going to, we understand turn over some documents and ultimately will face some questions by senators. that will be in a closed door session, brian. it's not going to be what we witnessed today. i'm also being told the timing of that is still being worked out. of course among the questions that meeting that he had with a russian banker, and of course the contact that he had with russia's ambassador. so this is a widening probe. the president's son-in-law a part of it. as is his attorney general, brian.
11:13 pm
>> julie, where is the cavalry? if the president really had as good a day in that hearing room some of the republicans who have been on television toght would have it, where is the support? is it still tenuous for this president? >> well, it was really interesting in listening to the questions from republicans on the intelligence committee and also the broader reaction from the gop. you know, outside of republicans working in the administration, you didn't actually get a lot of gop lawmakers questioning comey's credibility. what you heard them saying, including paul ryan, is basically trying to come up with excuses for why the president acted the way he did. but they are largely accepting the version of events that we heard from comey. that's not what the white house was hoping. they were hoping to have this kind of song and dance where they both accepted the pieces of comey's testimony that they liked, the fact that he told the president that he was not personally under investigation, but also poked holes in the parts of the testimony that they didn't like so much.
11:14 pm
>> and jeremy, right there to what julie said, talking about paul ryan, he's new to government. he's new to the presidency. heard that a couple of times today from a couple of people. is that any defense? >> no, because it's basically saying this guy who you thought was going to shake up washington, turns out he's not that good at this presidency thing. this presidency thing that's not what he is good at. unfortunately the president is also in commander in chief, in charge of 1 millionctive duty service members, 800,000 reserves and nuclear arsenal. he better get better at this presidency thi. >> peter baker what is coming were the president tomorrow that we know of. >> he is going to have a press conference in the afternoon in the rose garden around 2:45 p.m. the president of romania is visiting. that's the typical custom. the normal way that would happen would be two questions for each side, two questions from the american reporters, two questions from the romanian reporters. it will be the first time he will be takingest is questions
11:15 pm
since this hearing. a chance to redeem himself, a chance to put the best light on what jim comey did, dispute what he said as his lawyer did today. it should be interested to see what he picks out of the testimony to emphasize and do we learn more about his account of these meetings. remember these were just one-on-one meetings. his lawyer wasn't in there. we have yet to hear from president trump deckly his version of what happened. >> i believe tomorrow is 111 days since the last formal solo news conference. to peter's point there have been these kinds of bilaterals with visiting or overseas leaders. two for the home team press corps, two for the visitors, and the event is over. this will be interesting nonetheless tomorrow. we'll fit in break here. the panel members are sticking with us. coming up, what members of the president's own party have to say about all of this tonight. tonight. when we continue.
11:16 pm
11:17 pm
11:18 pm
tonight. when we continue. for years, centurylink has been promising fast internet to small businesses. but for many businesses, it's out of reach. why promise something you can't deliver? comcast business is different. ♪ ♪ we deliver super-fast internet with speeds of 250 megabits per second across our entire network, to more companies, in more locations, than centurylink. we do business where you do business. ♪ ♪
11:19 pm
look, as far as the conversations and all of that, i'm not going to speculate on any of this. i would just add that of course there needs to be a degree of independence between d.o.j., fbi, and the white house and a line of communications established. the president's new at this. he's new to government. and so he probably wasn't steeped in the long running protocols that establish the relationships between d.o.j., fbi and white houses. he's' just new to this.
11:20 pm
>> welcome back to "the 11th hour." just the point jeremy was making. speaker paul ryan this morning speaking during james comey's testimony suggesting the president still learning the balance between his office, d.o.j., fbi, and the like. meanwhile, the reaction from the white house in response to questions about james comey's testimony today, quote, i can definitely say the president is not a liar. that was from sarah huckabee sanders. during an offcamera briefing. more on that later. she was also pressed on whether or not the has recordings, if there are any recording devices in the white house. quote, i have no idea, she said. when asked to look into the question, shshot back, sure i'll try to look under the couches. we are back with kristen welker, julie pace, peter baker, jeremy bash. jeremy, is this a real question? >> it's not a real question. i don't think the aides in the white house actually know whether there are recordings.
11:21 pm
i think they asked the president and he said stop asking me. >> julie, is this a new paradigm, where these off camera briefings, there is an attempt to come away from the model of daily or on camera briefings? >> absolutely. we've seen the white house trying to experiment with these more and more where sean spicer or sarah sanders will come put and, answer questions but do it off camera. this is a way of in some case leaving the spotlight to the president when he has an address or a press conference. but on other days like today it's to keep there from being the split screen where you have james comey testifying and an white house official responding to him. >> karl rove as written for the "wall street journal," we quote, increasingly it appears the president lacks the focus or self-discipline to do the basic work required of a president.
11:22 pm
his chronic impulsiveness is apparently unstoppable and clearly self defeating. mr. trump may have masters the modes of communication but not the substance will be the sabotaging his own agenda. while an opinion columnist and his words go way beyond what you wrote tonight, there are some themes in common? >> well, it's interesting because karl rove has been one of these republicans who was never enamored with president trump to beginith. it has gone back and forth since he took office between defending him and finding merit wanting to give him a chance and criticizing him sharply as he has done in this column. it's hard for a lot of republicans to look at what is happening because they see it as an unnecessarily self inflicted wound. they have control of the white house, control of the senate, they would like to get things done. they have important things on the agenda, health care, tax reform, trade all those things.
11:23 pm
it's hard to see what gets to move you see that frustration among some of the republicans out there. >> kristen welker, tomorrow afternoon, a press event, 2:45 scheduled start. let's say by 4:00 p.m. eastern time there is now a fresh lead on one of the prongs of one of the stories we have talked about tonight. what is tomorrow supposed to be, what's next week theme atticcally supposed to be? having said that, this was supposed to be infrastructure week. >> that's right. it was supposed to be infrastructure week thematically. in trms of the headline we might see after the press conference i think you will hear the president defend himself robustly but on a couple of points we haven't necessarily mentioned. one i think he is going to dispute that he asked comey for a loyalty pledge. i think also going to dispute the part of comey's account in
11:24 pm
which he says he hoped that he would essentially the drop the probinto michael fnn. so ihink those are two points that the president is going to be particularly aggressive on. i'll be looking to see if he shows message discipline, how robustly he backs attorney general jeff sessions. remember there were questions whether or not there was a rift there. he is still frustrated with his attorney general for recusing himself. the president thinks that's why this probe has really got tony the point where it has, why it went to a special counsel. i'll be looking for those various points, brian. in terms of next week as we turn the page, as the white house tries to turn the page look i think they are going to try to get back on track on some of the agenda items that you heard peter talking about, particularly health care. senate republicans right now are huddling every day to try to get things done on health care reform. they say they can get a vote by july. a lot of people are skeptical
11:25 pm
about that on both side of pennsylvania avenue. can they do it? they need the russia probe to move to the background so they can work with the president to try to get that done. >> after a more than eventful thursday, a great thanks to our lead off panel tonight. consisten, peter jeremy,. when we come back, we'll ask our lawyers about kicking others out of the room when you want to talk to comey, especially when the room is shaped like an oval. and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis.
11:26 pm
11:27 pm
and get medical help right away.
11:28 pm
pg&e learned a tragic lesson we can never forget. this gas pipeline ruptured in san bruno. the explosion and fire killed eight people. pg&e was convicted of six felony charges including five violations of the u.s. pipeline safety act and obstructing an ntsb investigation. pg&e was fined, placed under an outside monitor, given five years of probation, and required to perform 10,000 hours of community service. we are deeply sorry. we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough, actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation.
11:29 pm
aeally signifint fact to me is so why did he kick everybody out of the oval office? why would you kick the attorney general, the president, the chief of staff out to talk to me if it was about something else? and so that -- that to me is as an investigator is a very significant fact. >> as a lawyer, prosecutor, investigator, james comey sat in a role he is not necessarily used to today, as a witness. and he found that detail about his interactions with the president legally significant today. i want to bring in our panel of lawyers to talk about it. steve vladdic, law professor at the university of texas, focusing on constitutional and national security law. carey cordero is back with us, former national security lawyer for the justice department, and former counsel at the office of the director of national intelligence and richard painter is back with us, the chief
11:30 pm
ethics lawyer for the bush 43 white house. steve, do you share that lawyerly instinct that we heard director comey talking about, about how important it was that everyone else was ushered out? >> yeah, brian, not only do i share that instinct, but it sounds from director comey's testimony like the attorney general jeff sessions and jared kushner also had that instinct. he made a point that they both tried to linger and stuck around and were ushered out at the president's insistence. i think that's a telling moment. i think we should be careful not to focus too much on the individual pieces as opposed to the broader point that comey was fired because of the russia investigation. i think these are all parts of the larger story about obstruction. >> carey, the democrats nonetheless are after that. that's what they want to be the lead story. they want to make that obstruction case. in your view, how far away are they from that?
11:31 pm
>> well, i know that there's a number of observers who feel like this is all moving too fast. and so first of all, the special counsel's investigation is going to take some time to run its course. but with respect to obstruction, i think the people are looking for there to be one specific fact, as if there is going to be one fact that makes the obstruction case. and what i would suggest is that it's not going to be one fact. it's going to be a trail of individual acts from the conversations to tweets to the firing to the tweets after the firing. it's going to be a string of events that evenly will either make the case for obstruction or not. >> i want to share with our audience the front page for tomorrow's "new york times." justice came in to our possession. it is not quite "men walk on moon" but that is quite broad type for the "new york times" of this era. "trump tied to sink inquiry,
11:32 pm
comma, comey says". a lot of side bar coverage on the front page and of course the highlighted quotes. richard painter, same question to you. it's interesting. every day on social media, most days, you have dwelled on business and ethics. but there's also everything that was discussed today. so including all of it, how close do you think mueller or any investigation is to charges as the democrats want that will stick? >> well, with respect to obstruction of justice, we certainly heard a lot of evidence today that is very damaging to the president. still, the key factor is the answer to the question of why was jim comey fired. if he was fired in order to hinder or stop the russia
11:33 pm
investigation, that is obstruction of justice. and the president has indicated that that indeed was the reason that he was fired. so we have a very serious situation that turns on the firing first and foremost. and then all of these events leading up to the firing are important as well. but i think the president is in serious legal jeopardy and that's why his personal lawyer answered the questions. this is not something that white house counsel is going to want to get involved in. if the white house counsel can possibly avoid it. the president is in legal jeopardy. and this does tie ino the questions of financial conflicts of interest that i -- d the trump business empire and the kushner business empire that i've been worried about for a long time. we do need to follow the money. find out where the financing is coming for the trump organization. for the kushner family, why
11:34 pm
there are are meetings with russian banks. where jared kushner met with a russian bank and was talking about his family business and apparently about united states government diplomatic business. this is a very, very troubling situation with russia, and russian interference in our elections and russian espionage right at the heart of it. so this is not just about jim comey and the obstruction of justice that we heard about today. it is a much bigger situation. and really very dangerous for our national security if we can't find out what happened, who collaborated with the russians, who is covering it up, why general flynn lied, why other administration officials persistently are lying about their ties to the russians. we do need to get to the bottom of this. >> explain the legal term, richard used it in relation to president. but comey said flynn was in legal jeopardy when the president asked him if he can't just let this go. what's the distinction there? >> i think the reference that
11:35 pm
director comey was making when he was talking about the flynn investigation, it's clear that michael flynn was under serious scrutiny and may still be for violating a bunch of criminal statutes, including the foreign agent registration act which requires any individual who is lobbying or engaging in conduct on behalf of a foreign power to file paperwork. we know michael flynn didn't either on behalf of turkey or russia. couple other statutes he may have violated by continuing to work on behalf of foreign enterprise even once he was national security adviser. we have to be careful we have to separate out the actors. today was not a good day for michael flynn. today was not a good day for jeff sessions. reasonable folks will disagree how bad a day it was for donald trump. i think it was a good day for director comey. >> is there any there there on these charges? >> he admitted himself he leaked his contemporaneous notes through an intermediary, in law school to the "new york times." is there any there there on charging comey as a leaker?
11:36 pm
>> no. this conflation of what is standard operating procedure around washington where inside information that's not classified gets to the media is not a crime. is not any kind of charge. there is no credible allegation that former director comey did anything that falls anywhere in the criminal realm. it's very different than what we have seen a significant degree of over the last several months which has been actual leaks of classified information. >> richard, this is a lightning rounds, i need a answer in 30 seconds. are you content with the state this investigation given who mueller is and your knowledge of him? >> i think he's going to be an excellent special counsel. and he will do well.
11:37 pm
but the house and senate judiciary committees need to start investigating the obstruction of justice and abuse of power. i've been a republican for 30 years. i am shocked to see what has happened here and to see members of my own party defend it. we need to have an investigation. once again, house and senate judiciary committee with respect to abuse of power and obstruction of justice. this is a very, very serious situation. >> our thanks to our law firm, steve vladdic, carry cordero, richard painter. thank you all. we appreciate your time after a long day. coming up a question of credibility. we'll difficult into who is telling the truth about the trump/comey conversations when "the 11th hour" continues.
11:38 pm
trulicity is not insulin. it helps activate my body to do what it's supposed to do release its own insulin. trulicity responds when my blood sugar rises. i take it once a week, and it works 24/7. it comes in an easy-to-use pen and i may even lose a little weight. trulicity is a once-weekly injectable prescription medicine to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. trulicity is not insulin. it should not be the first medicine to treat diabetes or for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take trulicity if you or a family member has had medullary thyroid cancer, if you've had multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to trulicity. stop trulicity and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as itching, rash, or trouble breathing; a lump or swelling in your neck; or severe pain in your stomach area. serious side effects may include pancreatitis, which can be fatal.
11:39 pm
taking trulicity with a sulfonylurea or insulin increases your risk for low blood sugar. common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite and indigestion. some side effects can lead to dehydration, which may make existing kidney problems worse. with trulicity, i click to activate what's within me. if you want help improving your a1c and blood sugar numbers with a non-insulin option, click to activate your within. ask your doctor about once-weekly trulicity. with a non-insulin option, click to activate your within. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses.
11:40 pm
stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara® tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms such as: fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. always tell your doctor if you have any signs of infection, have had cancer, if you develop any new skin growths or if anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions can occur. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. most people using stelara® saw 75% clearer skin and the majority were rated as cleared or minimal at 12 weeks. be the you who talks to your dermatologist about stelara®. welcome back to our broadcast. president trump's attorney did his very best today to deny some the key claims made by former
11:41 pm
fbi director james comey. listen to a few things trump's personal lawyer said compared to what comey said. >> the president never suggested that mr. comey, quote, let flynn go, close quote. >> i understood him to be saying what he wanted me to do was drop any investigation connected to flynn's account of his conversations with the russians. >> the president likewise never pressured mr. comey. >> i took it as a direction. i mean, this is the president of the united states, with me alone saying i hope this. i took it as this is what he wants me to do. >> the president also never told mr. comey, quote, i need loyalty. i expect loyalty, close quote. he never said it in form. and he never said it in substance. >> the dinner was an effort to build a relationship, in fact he asked specifically of loyalty in the context of asking me to
11:42 pm
stay. >> who you believe likely boils down to this kind of high stakes game of he said/he said and who people are more likely to believe in this, the president or the former fbi director, trump or comey. joining our conversation, eli stokels, white house reporter for the "wall street journal," and peter baker has been kind enough to remain with us. eli, a, i don't think you could find two dissimilar people if you launched a nationwide search. but b, more importantly, and more immediately you have been talking to republicans tonight. what are they saying about this kind of thing today? >> well away from the tv cameras and the public statements, republicans privately are admitting to me that this was just really bad day for this administration and by extension for republicans generally. they are already having a hard time moving things on capitol hill. they are worrying their
11:43 pm
legislative agenda could bed a good as dead. one told me when they read comey's prepared remarks yesterday they said i'm not as worried. then they saw him go further today. one said he really came to do damage to donald trump, and he is doing it. there is just this sense that the administration doesn't have a good response. they don't have audio tapes to corroborate trump's version of events. you know, comey may be imperfect. he may have done himself some damage over the last year or so politically. and we do live in this world where people sort of -- obstruction of justice like everything else it's in the eye of the beholder these days. but i think republicans really do worry about where this is going and they recognize that publicly you have a president who 30 or so percent of the condition approves of and probably trusts up against a pretty seasoned prosecutor testifying today, giving answers to tough questions for two hours, and almost 40 minutes under oath. >> peter baker, as i had mentioned at the top of the
11:44 pm
broadcast, seven months ago tonight was a bracing night. everybody's lead story was rewritten. it's been a bracing seven months. the president's twitter feed on any given day can be a bracing experience. and boy, was it bracing today to hear james comey call the president of the united states a liar. >> well, it was. an astonishing spectacle if you think about it. try to remember the last time a top law enforcement officer accused the president of the united states of not being honest. not only not being honest but so untrustworthy he as the fbi director from the beginning of their relationship took notes of their conversations because he expected some day there to be this confrontation they are having right now there would be a dispute about something that was said. he believed that president trump some day might lie about a meeting they had had. that's an extraordinary spectacle and sort of thing that washington hasn't seen now really in a generation. people on the phone were saying
11:45 pm
this reminds me of john dean's testimony at watergate. that may be a stretch. we don't know. but it is electrifying. it is in some ways shocking. and part of what is interesting is that there has been something of a -- you know we've gotten used to some of this stuff in some ways. maybe it didn't have quite the bombshell effect some republicans feared it would have. but if you sit there and analyze what was said, you know, it's pretty tough stuff. >> eli the question i always ask you, i need answered tonight in 30 second. we are running to another break. if you are a republican member of congress you go home for your election break, what can you tell the folks you brought them from washington? >> nothing. what you are worried about is not the next recess or the next town hall. but you are already starting to worry about 2018 because there is enough out there already from james comey in the public sphere and enough people saying this does look like obstruction of justice. what republicans recognize is they are going to be facing in
11:46 pm
november of next year a democratic electorate that is motivated by the prospect of if we can flip congress, if we can elect democrats, perhaps we can have enough to impeach this president. nobody is really saying the i word but republicans privately today say they are worried this is going the fuel that motivation that's already so high on the democratic side. >> on that note, gentlemen, it's always such a pleasure to have you both on the broadcast. an eventful day and eventful coverage thank you both. eli stokels and peter baker. a break for us. when we come back, one bit of godfatheresque imagery from the hearing today. also, what's the status of the russian infiltration of our election system? that and more when we return.
11:47 pm
11:48 pm
on september 9, 2010, pg&e learned a tragic lesson we can never forget. this gas pipeline ruptured in san bruno. the explosion and fire killed eight people. pg&e was convicted of six felony charges including five violations of the u.s. pipeline safety act and
11:49 pm
obstructing an ntsb investigation. pg&e was fined, placed under an outside monitor, given five years of probation, and required to perform 10,000 hours of community service. we are deeply sorry. we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough, actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation. do you have any doubt that russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections? >> none.
11:50 pm
>> do you have any doubt that the russian government was behind the intrusions in the dnc and the dccc systems and the subsequent leaks of that information. >> no, no doubt. >> imcomey republican senator richard burr of north carolina and a key exchange of russia hacking which president trump has continued to question throughout the hearing comey underscored the seriousness of the attack. >> it was of a active measures campaign driven from the top of that government and naes as unfake as you can possibly get. it's not republicans or democrats they're college coming after america. if any americans were part of helping the russians do that to us, that is a very big deal. >> jeremy bash is back with us and julia is with us here in the studio. moscow born journal it current with the atlantic" before i get to a bit of visual arts at the hearing today, julia, where were
11:51 pm
the president's constant questions to his fbi director about the status of the hack into our elections system. >> well that's the thing right when you read former fbi director comey's prepared statement that came out yesterday there was nothing in there apparently that president trump asked him about, how do we secure our electoral system, voting systems? how do we protect our democracy? it was all about himself personally. when in fact this isn't -- i think director comey was right -- or former director comey was right. they went after democrats this time. they're going to go after republicaning. >> that's the point in marko rubio keeps make. >> was it marko cube yes putin isn't a republican as far as i know right zbra and that was repeated tonight. >> yes. so whoever doesn't do what they want or whoever doesn't achieve
11:52 pm
whatever they're trying to achieve or doesn't help them what they're trying to achieve they'll go after them. and there is the 2018 elections coming. this is the thing. 2016 showed that the russian have greatly afrpd up sophisticatation. a few years ago they didn't know what the dnc was they didn't know the dccc. they figured out the subtleties of our democratic -- our bt political process. they couldn't even lobby the hill before in 2012 five years ago they didn't know who to lobby. now they've gotten fikted. if the republicans thing think that come 2018 orp 2020 they're not going after them or this won't affect them they are sadly smik zbloon jeremy i wanted to ask you about a piece of stage craft today. since the russian investigation started since the trump administration has gotten under way the u.s. attorneys have been shone the door and 49 of them i guess.
11:53 pm
preet of the southern district was god fatheresque to see him there he was live tweeting it. i wondered aloud how much people not in the new york washington corridor were interested in the plot line, heard from a lot of people in kansas which i regard as the american center of america about 100 miles from where i used to live. they were very much watching this plot line. was that stage craft or was this something else at work. >> prooet is a came down to support jim comey. he was fired he was a prosecutor in the southern district of new york. he knows the russia file because he was in charge of the investigation in 2010 when the fbi and the cia wrapped up the illegals, the russian illegal operatives living under deep cover. they show the americans. prooet was prosecutor run tlag case. >> they were apparently here according to the dni report they were here to morin the 10u8 2008 election. this is where you see the
11:54 pm
contrast. if you read the department of justice complaint way back from the summer of 2010 when they were all arrested it's ridiculous. they do things like anna chamman, the red hitted hotty every american male -- it wasn't just them. she bought a burner phone and she filled out of an address and she wrote 99 fake street. it wasn't -- it wasn't the americans it was pink panther or key stone cops. they were trying to cozy up to think tank people reading press and sending back reports what they read in newspapers. that was only 2011, seven years ago or six years ago if you compared to the 2016 election. they've really figured stuff out. >> comey said they're going to come bab. angus king said they're not leaving. >> a lot like our guests some nights with great thanks at the end of the a rung day i know you got to go momi and slave over a keyboard. thank you both. up next one last break the comey
11:55 pm
testimony by the numbers back with that right after this.
11:56 pm
11:57 pm
11:58 pm
last thing before we go tonight, a bit of a look at today which the numbers. almost 14 hours ago, the hearing we've been talking about this entire broadcast started. after two hours 38 minutes and 3 seconds but who is counting -- 17 senators had questioned the
11:59 pm
former director of the fbi. it was the ninth hearing of the year for senate intel committee, a rate of productivity the chairman pointed out is twice their yearly average. at least a dozen television networks carried the hearing live twitter informed usia twitter of all things that betwe 7:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. eastern 3.6 million tweets sent out about james comey's testimony. none of them from the president. about the president's twitter account, the "washington post" says this is now the president's fourth long-term twitter silence since he declared his candidacy. his last tweet came yesterday, 8:17 "a" infrastructure week. and if the president waits to tweet until 6:13 a.m. friday morning. it becomes his long-term ever twitter drought. also not too early to remind you 2:30 eastern time on the air por
12:00 am
the white house press conference tomorrow afternoon. that for now is the broadcast for tonight. thank you for being here with us. good night from new york. >> investigation. >> james comey unloads. >> the endeavor was to change the way the russia investigation was being conducted. that is a -- that is a very big deal. >> the fired fbi director on the president's lies. >> i was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting. >> on the loyalty pledge. >> he's looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job. >> on the prospect of tapes. >> lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> on mike flynn. >> it rings in my ear as kind of llo one rid me of this meddlesome priest? >> on the president's motives. >> my impression is something big is about to happen. i into ed to remember every single word that is spoken. >> and what he couldn't say today? >> was the fbi able to confirm any criminal allegations contained in the steele document?

22 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on